Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Pink, William

Second Advisor

Chubbuck, Sharon

Third Advisor

Ng, Alexander


Much has been written in the scientific literature about learning disabilities and muscular dystrophy. Using brain-based theory, scientists speculate that the underlying genetic defect responsible for muscle degeneration in this group of individuals is also the cause of the learning deficits seen in some members of this population. However, given the observations I have made when advocating for individuals in wheelchairs, perhaps brain-based theory alone might not completely explain learning disabilities in individuals with muscular dystrophy. Might there also be an environmental component to the learning disabilities previously documented in this group of youngsters? Unfortunately, a review of current literature reveals no studies that address this query. Therefore, I must approach the question from other directions. This dissertation details my attempt to unpack this complicated issue.



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